As a community, we've invested in grooming equipment to keep many sections of our trails usable and fun during the winter. Our most popular activities are snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Our paved and soft trails are popular destinations for area snowshoers; it's a great way to see some of our 'out of the way' trails, without the risk of bugs or poison ivy. And you'll definitely get a workout!
Shoeshoeing is best when the temperature is below 25°F, so that the snow isn't wet. There's no official 'start date' for snoeshoes to be used on the trails, but keep in mind that contacting concrete with your snowshoes may damage the teeth.
Several local businesses sell snowshoes -- a new pair can cost $150 - $250+, or you can rent them for $5 - $10 a day from Runner's Flat or Europa Cycle & Ski in Cedar Falls. And if you're a newbie, contact Hartman Reserve to join in on one of their introductory hikes.
Organized Events: The Hartman Reserve occasionally hosts organized snowshoeing activities (both day and night) and a showshoe hike night and snowshoew race are held in late January, if snow coverage permits (contact Runner's Flat for details).
When snowshoeing on the trails, please stay off the groomed cross country ski paths. Your tracks can leave ridges and divits, causing an unpleasant experience for our XC-skiiers!
Cross Country Skiing
Winter adds a whole new dynamic to the Cedar Valley trail system -- cross-country skiing! This low-impact activity is an excellent way to get the family moving on cold, snowy days!
George Wyth State Park, Katoski Park, Byrnes Park and Gate Park trails are groomed to support both classical skiing and skate skiing; classical has two small 'trenches' for each of your skis, while skate has a wide, flat expanse for pushing outward with each of your skis.
We're proud that the trails are groomed by Waterloo Leisure Services using a special snowmobile provided by the CTP.
Visit restored prairie and cycle along open spaces and residential areas, the bank of the Cedar River, Cottage Row’s homes, and Island Park on your return to downtown Cedar Falls.
17.1 Miles -- This loop passes by fields, along rolling hills, residential areas, shopping centers, industrial areas, the Cedar Valley Soccer Complex, the Katoski Greenbelt, and beside Black Hawk Creek.
16.4 Miles - Connecting the downtown areas of Cedar Falls and Waterloo, this loop skirts Washington Park in Cedar Falls, the floodplain forests in George Wyth State Park and Hartman Reserve, and runs through the industrial area in northwest Waterloo, while providing views of the Cedar River.
52 miles - Cedar Valley Nature Trail connects Waterloo/Cedar Falls with Cedar Rapids and many towns in between. Surfaced with asphalt from Evansdale to McFarlane Park east of La Porte City and then compacted limestone, the trail follows the floodplain of the Cedar River. A campground is located along the trail at McFarlane Park. Motorized vehicles and horses are not allowed on the trail.
9.1 Miles -- Take a trip to Prairie Lakes Park and enjoy views of the lakes, native prairies, and associated wildlife. Stop by the Cedar Falls Tourism & Visitors Bureau and pick up a souvenir! Then head to Pfeiffer Park and continue your journey through Rownd Park and by sparkling Dry Run Creek.
4 Miles - Welcome to downtown Waterloo! Whether it is a concert at the amphitheater, a splash in Mark’s Park, a stroll through the river plazas and overlooks, a visit to many of the cultural venues, or a great meal at one of many locally owned restaurants, Waterloo’s downtown Riverfront Renaissance offers it all! Did you know? The section of trail from US Highway 63 to 4th Street is the final segment of the American Discovery Trail to be completed in the metropolitan area!
2.6 Miles - Travel along babbling brooks and prairie preserves before entering the University of Northern Iowa campus. You’ll also pedal through Rownd Park and past The Falls Aquatic Center. Take time out to visit the College Hill art galleries, bookstores, coffee shops, and the Hearst Center for the Arts’ sculpture garden.